Necessary Evil or Unnecessary Intrusion?

I am of two minds on this issue:

On the one hand, if the university staff and faculty are going to campaign to stop students from defending themselves, then they have a responsibility to keep hazardous individuals off the university campus.

But I absolutely do not like this methodology.

On the agenda: A student who got into a shouting match with a faculty member. Another who harassed a female classmate. Someone found sleeping in a car. And a student who posted a threat against a professor on Facebook.

In a practice adopted at one college after another since the massacre at Virginia Tech, a University of Kentucky committee of deans, administrators, campus police and mental health officials has begun meeting regularly to discuss a watch list of troubled students and decide whether they need professional help or should be sent packing.

These “threat assessment groups” are aimed at heading off the kind of bloodshed seen at Virginia Tech a year ago and at Northern Illinois University last month.

“You’ve got to be way ahead of the game, so to speak, expect what may be coming. If you’re able to identify behaviors early on and get these people assistance, it avoids disruptions in the classrooms and potential violence,” said Maj. Joe Monroe, interim police chief at Kentucky.

The Kentucky panel, called Students of Concern, held its first meeting last week and will convene at least twice a month to talk about students whose strange or disturbing behavior has come to their attention.

Such committees represent a change in thinking among U.S. college officials, who for a long time were reluctant to share information about students’ mental health for fear of violating privacy laws.

“If a student is a danger to himself or others, all the privacy concerns go out the window,” said Patricia Terrell, vice president of student affairs, who created the panel.

Ms. Terrell needs to have her “privacy concerns” thrown out the window.

If a student is a danger to themselves or others, they need to be removed from the campus entirely and put somewhere with padded and/or barred walls. Somewhere that they cannot get their hands on gasoline, matches, a vehicle, a baseball bat, an axe, or any number of other items that could harm themselves or others.

And it should not be a group of administrators who are making this decision. Trained professionals unaffiliated with the school only.

School-run “Judicial Hearings” need to be replaced with real law and order. Sadly, it appears that the administrators are so frightened that they may lose a fraction of power over their little fiefdoms that they run the risk of ignoring a problem that could, quite literally, blow up in their faces.

Case in Point: ALF/ELF.

Each and every one of the animal rights/eco-terrorists is a danger to others, but the universities and colleges don’t bother to help police agencies investigate, and sometimes even hinder investigators.

State/County/City run colleges and universities seem to forget that they work under the taxpayer dime and are doing so on taxpayer property. Someone needs to remind them.

I would suggest your state’s governor, but fat bit of luck getting that to happen (except when they’re kissing his/her ass during budget negotiations).

But anyway, contact your local location of supposed higher education and see if they have one of these groups. Ask as a concerned parent, if you find that your title as “Taxpayer” isn’t good enough for them. Then step it up to the next level.

If universities will not let the local/county/state constabulary become involved in keeping dangerous individuals off the campus, and off our streets, then they need to have their funding looked at until they come to their senses.

Update: And now I finally remember why I was originally unhappy when first reading about this.

How long will it take before a uber-leftist teacher sends a student’s name to this board when he/she disagrees with their Marxism instruction during remedial English class?

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One Response to Necessary Evil or Unnecessary Intrusion?

  1. Rivrdog says:

    Yes, there’s a danger of political abuse. I’m sure any student who advocated on the soapbox for student concealed carry would make the list, even though that student is trying to do the exact same thing as the through-control Nazis, only by a different modality.

    In Oregon, we have a state law that prohibits the po-leece from accumulating “political” files on people, or accumulating ANY files on organizations. In Oregon institutions of “Higher” (word has MANY connotations in OR) Ed, there would be some protection for the individuals, IF (and ONLY if) they belonged to a campus organization to advance concealed carry.

    Make no mistake about it, this is the University seizing a “police power” without having been appointed to the power by the State. As such, it is a BLATANT violation of First Amendment rights. I would hope a student sues the ass off the University back there, and soon, before this gets to be a national craze. What WILL happen is that some smarter legislator will see that the idea has Constitutional failings, and write some slimy, circuitous path of language to get around the Constitution.

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